Guide to the Papers of Edward Koiki Mabo
National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record
In 1981, at a conference on indigenous land rights in Townsville, a decision was made to pursue a native land title claim for the people of the Murray Islands in the High Court of Australia. In 1982, Mabo and four other Islander plaintiffs instituted proceedings against the State of Queensland, claiming that their islands had been continuously inhabited and exclusively possessed by their people who lived in permanent settled communities. They acknowledged that the British Crown became sovereign of the islands upon annexation, but claimed continuous enjoyment of their land rights which had not been validly extinguished by the sovereign through the granting of freehold title or land leases to others...